FURIOUS residents on a Southampton street are making a stand against a biker gang who they say have been “terrorising” their community.

Residents on Sinclair Road, Lordshill, claim they are being intimidated by a group of up to 20 youngsters, who ride at high speeds on footpaths past their homes.

They say motorbike nuisance has been a problem in the area for decades, with youngsters using the bikes in nearby woodlands.

But residents have now grouped together to say “enough is enough”.

It comes after claims that members of the gang broke into a parked car and pushed it over a grass verge, causing it to smash through a couple’s front garden.

The couple, who asked not to be named, say the incident has left them “scared” in their own home.

Jean-Pierre Paternoster, whose car was pushed down the verge, said: “It’s very upsetting.

“It could have killed someone but luckily I had my wheels turned so it didn’t go into the house.”

The 70-year-old added: “I can’t have my grandchildren playing out round here because it’s dangerous.”

Another resident, Tanya Williams, 42, said: “My seven-year-old son was playing out and a group of them surrounded him.

“It’s very intimidating.

“They drive down the path beside the school during the day, at night and in the evening when there are children around.”

Since the incident, residents have called for more support from the police and council to combat nuisance riders.

The call has been echoed by Labour’s candidate for Coxford Ward, Matt Renyard.

He said: “I feel this intimidation is unfair and out-of-order.

“The more we can do as a council to engage young people in the city and make them aware about their behaviour the better.”

Mr Renyard called for more investment in the council’s youth outreach programmes and more funding for policing.

Independent councillor for the ward, Keith Morrell, pictured inset, also spoke out about the issue, which he said had been a “blight” on residents in Coxford, Millbrook and Redbridge for “decades”.

He said: “Of course this is an issue and it’s something we’ve been trying to deal with.”

Hampshire Constabulary say there is “no evidence” as yet that the criminal damage incident is linked to nuisance motorcycle riders.

The force confirmed the incident was reported to them.

Another five vehicles were also damaged on Sinclair Road, Sutherland Road and Pembery Road around the same time, police say.

Meanwhile, the force is continuing its work to reduce motorcycle nuisance in the city, through ‘Operation Torque’.

Launched in 2016, the scheme aims to tackle motorcycle nuisance in the Redbridge, Millbrook, Coxford, Lordshill and Shirley areas.

Police say it has secured more than 30 convictions and seized a number of illegal and stolen motorbikes since the launch.

As previously reported in the Echo, the force seized 10 bikes in summer 2016.

Officers dealt with a further 10 riders aged between 12 and 27 years old by an official caution or summoned to court for driving offences between August and December 2016.

PC Simon Peacock, lead officer in Operation Torque, from Hampshire police, said: “Now the warmer weather is here we know we will see more of these bikes being ridden, but everyone wants to enjoy being outside in the sun without the fear of these bikers ruining their summer evenings in community parks, paths and walkways and on the roads.

“We rely on the community to provide us with information on riders they see on paths, in green spaces and on roads, often riding dangerously putting not only road users but also pedestrians at risk of serious injury.”

Earlier this month, police released CCTV of four bikers, who were pictured using motorbikes on the field behind Coxford Community Centre.

When police officers attended, one of the bikers drove at an officer who was on foot and struck him on the leg.

The recent spate of nuisance riders has also upset legitimate bikers.

Devin Valentine, from Stolen Motor Bikes Southampton, a group which shares knowledge regarding thefts of motorbikes and suspicious activities in the area, say the nuiscance riders risk giving legitimate bikers a "bad name".

He said: "What they are doing shouldn’t be representative of what Southampton’s motorbike community is like.

“We shouldn’t have to justify ourselves because other people make us look bad.

“There were 835 people at Southampton bike night last week.

"Most of us are respectful but sadly these people give us a bad name.”